December 15, 2009 – from The Baltimore Sun:
Lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church have urged a court in Malaysia to let Christians use “Allah” as a translation for God and overturn a government ban that has become a symbol of religious grievances in the Muslim-majority nation, the Associated Press is reporting.
The High Court began hearing legal arguments Monday in the dispute, which began in late 2007 after the government blocked non-Muslims from translating God as “Allah” in their literature on the grounds that it would confuse Muslims.
Authorities have insisted that the name should be used exclusively by Muslims. The ban mainly affects the Malay-language edition of the Catholic Church’s main publication in Malaysia, The Herald, which is read mostly by indigenous tribes who converted to Christianity decades ago.
“Our position has been made clear to the court,” The Herald’s editor, the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, told the AP. “The main thing is we’ve been using this word … for a long time, for centuries.”
But in recent years, authorities have seized some Malay-language Bibles that used “Allah.”
We are reminded of reports a couple of years ago that a Catholic bishop in the Netherlands wanted Dutch Catholics to call God “Allah.”
Tiny Muskens, then the bishop of Breda, told a Dutch television station that using the name in church, as is common in many Muslim countries, would eventually promote rapprochement between Islam and Christianity.
“Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa [Almighty God] for eight years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years,” he said. “In the heart of the Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can’t we start doing that together?”
Is Allah the Name of God?
Allah is the name of the only God in Islam. Allah is a pre-Islamic name coming from the compound Arabic word Al-ilah which means the God, which is derived from al (the) ilah (deity).
The Arabic name for “God” is the word “Al-ilah.” It is a generic title for whatever god was considered the highest god. Different Arab tribes used “Allah” to refer to its personal high god. “Allah” was being worshipped at the Kaa’ba in Mecca by Arabs prior to the time of Mohammed. It was formerly the name of the chief god among the numerous idols (360) in the Kaaba in Mecca before Mohammed made them into monotheists. that the moon god called “Hubal” was the god to whom Arabs prayed at the Kaa’ba and they used the name “Allah” when they prayed. [Emphasis added] —http://www.letusreason.org/islam6.htmhave shown
Allah is NOT the name of the Living God of the Bible.